The best places to buy women's dress pants for work


Get the Full StoryDress pants are the workhorse of a professional woman's closet, but the perfect pair is something like a unicorn in women's workwear.

The ideal dress pant is comfortable, versatile, flattering, and doesn't stretch out after frequent wear. Ideally, it's relatively affordable, comes with a variety of customization options, and doesn't require dry-cleaning.

We think MM. LaFleur makes the best dress pants for professional women overall, but there are great options to consider at Boden, J.Crew, Universal Standard, and Everlane as well.

Few workwear staples see as much use as the right pair of dress pants, but the perfect pair can be difficult to hunt down.

When shopping for dress pants, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: formality, fit, price, and diversity of options. You probably don't want pants that are so tight they're uncomfortable during an eight-hour workday, and if you're expected to wear a suit every day, you may want to prioritize pairs that mimic the material and style of your blazers and blouses, so you get maximum versatility out of the pieces you own. And while you may be willing to splurge on the right pair of dress pants, not everyone's budget accommodates luxe options nor does every office dress code necessitate high-end clothing.

Below, I've rounded up a few of the best places to shop for dress pants online. All of the picks are flattering, comfortable, retain their shape, and don't require high-maintenance care. Some are pricier than others, but all of them are valuable purchases. No matter which brand fits your needs best, we feel confident that you'll be able to find your perfect pair of dress pants at one of the places we've chosen.

Here are the best places to shop for women's dress pants:

Best dress pants overall: MM. LaFleur

Best dress pants for petite women: Boden

Best dress pants for tall women: J.Crew

Best size-inclusive dress pants: Universal Standard

Best affordable dress pants: Everlane

The best dress pants for women overall

MM. LaFleur

MM. LaFleur's Foster Pants are the perfect mix of elegance, wearability, and versatility. A concealed button in the hem means you can adjust the pant legs to cater to different heights and shoes without needing a tailor. They're pricey at 195, but they're worth the money if you can spare the expense.

MM.LaFleur is a women's workwear company that's helmed by the former head designer of Zac Posen, Miyako Nakamura. Nakamura expertly blends simplicity and the demands of a 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. work schedule and frequent travel with clever design hacks. The company makes luxe work clothes that are so flexible you could literally perform a ballet in them, and a wrinkle-resistant suit designed specifically for travel, which performed well during our testing. In other words, MM. LaFleur clothes are a rare intersection of elegance, comfort, and low-maintenance care. If you can comfortably spring for the higher prices, we've found them to be worth the splurge.

MM. LaFleur makes a slew of dependable work pants in sizes 0P to 22W, but we'd recommend checking out the Foster Pant 195 first. The Foster Pant is a cigarette pant made from a cotton, nylon, and elastane blend that feels substantial but stretchy. With a thick material and a side zipper, the Foster pants smooth and streamline your shape, but balance out the close tailoring with slightly wider legs. They're also machine-washable. Machine wash cold, no tumble dry for best results .

The best part is that the Foster Pant has a concealed button in the hem that allows you to adjust the length of the pants, so you can cater to different heights as well as different pairs of shoes. If you're trying to pack light for a work trip, the Foster pants' adjustable hem make them compatible with heels, flats, or a pair of sneakers. Find a full review of the Foster Pant here.

If the Foster Pant isn't quite your style, we'd also recommend the Hockley Pant 145 , which has similarities like being machine-washable, travel-friendly, and including a concealed snap to allow hem adjustment. Unlike the Foster, the Hockley Pant is made of a lightweight cotton blend, is slightly longer, and has a center front zipper and back pockets. They're also very flattering. Since they're thinner, they're a better option for hot days but that also means they'll show more stretch over many wears than the Foster Pant. Since they're machine-washable, that's not necessarily a major drawback.

If you're in between sizes, we recommend sizing down in the Hockley. The Foster is true to size.

MM. LaFleur tends to be pricey, and 195 or 145 for a pair of dress pants may turn some people off. But, if it's a comfortable purchase, we think they're the best option overall in performance, fit, wearability, and versatility.

If your workwear search includes more clothing needs than dress pants, we also recommend MM.LaFleur for their Etsuko Dress 195 and Morandi Sweater 265 . The former is a closet workhorse that never disappoints, and the latter is the perfect drapey desk sweater.

Pros: stretchy but doesn't lose shape; elegant; machine-washable; adjustable hem heights

Cons: pricey

The best dress pants for petite women

Boden

Boden's dress pants typically come in three inseam lengths, and the company's classic 98 Richmond Pants are a flattering option made out of a power-stretch fabric that moves with you but won't totally stretch out.

Boden is a UK-based clothing retailer with a history of prioritizing responsible sourcing, eco-friendly options, fair trade, and ethical practices in the almost 20 countries where its factories are located. And most of its dress pants come in petite, regular, and tall inseam lengths.

Boden's Richmond Pants 98 are the company's hero dress pants, with over 800 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars. They're a straight-leg pair that sit at your natural waist and have a good mix of structure and comfort. Made from luxe power-stretch fabric with elastane, they're good at adapting to your day stretching and snapping back into shape repeatedly. The silhouette is smooth and streamlined with faux back pockets and a concealed center zipper and hook. The front pockets are usable, and they're machine-washable.

However, some customers note that the Richmond Pant can run large. If you're in between sizes, we suggest sizing down.

Boden's Richmond Pants also come in multiple colors, patterns, and multiple styles: classic, bootcut, and a 7 8 option. Sizes range from 2 to 18 usually. The company's petite dress pants offer more style options.

We also recommend the best overall option, MM. LaFleur's Foster Pant 195 as a great pick for petite women, thanks to its adjustable hem that can shorten the pants without the nuisance of tailoring. Though they're almost 100 more expensive.

At 98, the Richmond Pants are still pricey, though most of our favorite petite dress pants are listed at similar price points. If you're looking for petite options that may cost less than Boden, we recommend checking out our other favorite stores like LOFT, Ann Taylor, and J.Crew and searching for their petite styles specifically. The initial prices tend to hover around 98 on average, but these stores are more likely to offer deep discounts of up to 40 to 60 off, so you'll likely find them to be cheaper.

Pros: flattering; classic style; stretch without bagging out; machine-washable; multiple inseam options

Cons: slightly pricey; run large

The best dress pants for tall women

J. Crew

J. Crew offers nicely tailored dress pants in three inseam options and a range of colors. Thanks to the company's frequent sales, you may also be able to save yourself money on a closet staple.

J. Crew is a good stop for both tall and petite women since the company generally offers three inseam options for dress pants. It combines tailored classic styles, both neutral and adventurous colors and patterns, and sizing from 0 to 20 to make its options as versatile as possible. Plus, thanks to frequent sales that tend to include bestsellers, you can save yourself up to 40 off on closet staples by buying at the right time.

J. Crew offers a wide range of dress pants. You can find "tall" options with a variety of rises, silhouettes, fabrics, and colors. While some smaller specialty stores offer fewer options, J. Crew can cater to trends and unusual fabrics without sacrificing fit.

The company's bestselling Cameron pants are a good baseline.

The Tall High-Rise Cameron Pant 89.50 is a high-waisted, slim-fit pant that's made from an all-season stretch material so they're a good option every day of the year. It has a 28.25-inch inseam. Along with a flattering back-seam, its 11-inch rise elongates your legs. J.Crew's "Perfecting Pockets" in the front lend additional support and coverage. Overall, they're flexible without losing shape, well-tailored, and are machine-washable.

If you're looking for a classic dress pant without a high-rise, you may want to check out the Cameron Slim Crop Pant 89.50 or Cameron full-length 89.50 , both in the all-season stretch material and with "Perfecting Pockets".

As with the petite options we listed, we'd also recommend tall shoppers also scope out Ann Taylor and LOFT for tall options, like Ann Taylor's Tall Ankle Pant in Cotton Twill 89 . LOFT also offers the option of choosing your fit modern or curvy, for example and size type regular or tall for added customization. But, both LOFT and Ann Taylor tend to have lower inventory and fewer style, fabric, and color options than J.Crew.

Pros: all-season stretch fabric that doesn't bag out; multiple inseam options; variety; frequent sales that include best-selling styles

Cons: some stores offer more customization in fit and length

See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best travel pillows you can buyThe best women's work bags you can buyThe best artificial Christmas trees you can buy

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